Imágenes de páginas

having his treasuré elsewhere. Thus, of the grossness and feculence of its if the possessions of the world come natural elements. Hence the Chris. into competition with his better in- tian has been often found the best beritance, he knows how to choose patriot ; and Baxter and Bunyan the good and refuse the evil, and did not urge or promote the cause prefers to lose an employer rather of liberty and Protestantism (in than offend God.

other words, the cause of indepen2. He is independent of life, be- dence of mind) at all the less because he is to live for ever ; and cause they preached and wrote la. though he may fear death when his boriously for Christ ; nor did Colofaith is not in exercise, yet, in his nel Gardner fight the worse, or better moments, he knows whom he bleed ihe less willingly, because lie bas believed, and is persuaded that went to battle in the Christian arHe is able to keep that which he mour or served under the banner of has committed to him against that the Lord of Hosts. day. Besides, although it were 5. The Christian is independent otherwise as to the state of bis assu- of himself.This is perhaps that rance, yet the covenant that is which most effectually promotes made with him is ordered and sure, and secures his independence of and is not forfeited by his fears mind. Hs is saved by grace :-hie although it is exalted by his hopes. stands not in his own strength, but

3. He is independent of opinion is strong in the Lord: because -He applies another rule and mea. Christ lives, lie lives also. · His insure to his conduct than the world dependence of mind is no more his does, even the inerring word, of owny than any grace or virtue in bis God; and when many consider him stock, and only exists for a moment melancholy or mad, he knows that as it is fed and nourished from a they who mpura' now are blessed higher source. The whole secret and shall be comforted, and that of his independence of mind is, the same misjudging world said of that he has a mind which depends his Master that he was mad and had upon God, and therefore does not a devil. When he is thought a fool, depend upon man, or which, in other he knows that the wisdom of the words, is, as to man, an udepenworld is foolishness with God, and dent mind. Now here is the great that the wisdom by, which he is dit distinction between Christian and rected is justitied of her children.: worldly independence of inind. He

4. He is independent of circum- who has not God for his support stances and events;of changes undre never can carry a nind which is verses.-Something of this

sentiment independent either of others or is expressed by Watts in his lyrics, himself, but is the slave of one or " I'd have a life to call my own

the other, and often of both at That shall depend on heav'n alone; the same moment. Nor earth, nor air, nor sea,

6. He is independent of enemies.---Mix their base essences with mine, When Crates the philosopher wrote Nor claim dominion so divine

under the brand in his cheek in. To give mé leave to be."

flicted by Nicodromus, “ NicodroAs it is an axiom of mathematics mus fecit," there was something that every thing great contains in it equivocal in this; but when a man something that is less, so the Chris upon Christian priuciples returas tian, in having so much more real good for evil, and his character independence of mind than the becomes go established for divine worldling, can lay claim to every forbearance, that men can say of advantage attached to this spirit him as Shakespeare said of Cranmer, which the unbeliever may boast, whilst he possesses it in a form that

“ Do my lord of Canterbury

But one ill turn, and he's your friend for is refined and purified, and divested life."

true, that «


Then it is evident that he takes the of his heart, without which he has noblest revenge, and becomes far no more real independence than the more independent of his enemies meanest of hissubjects. What Shakethan if he had banished, one and spear has poetically said of mercy beheaded another. Not only is it may besaid of this quality, soft answer turneth

" It becomes the throned monarchi away wrath;” but be who has the Better than his crown.” grace to give it, is really more in

It raises the beggar from the dependent of his opponent, because less in his power than he would dunghill

, and sets him with princes,

even the princes of God's people, have been by the most severe retort.

since it gives him an interest in a Saul allows that David world to come by making him inwas more righteous than he ; be dependent of the present. It elecause, to pass by a transgression is vates the lowest in the scale of be. the glory of a man, and because he who can do this must first bave equality, which while it still renders

ing by establishing a sort of moral conquered himself, which is his to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's greatest enemy, and he may well will yet first render to God the smile at meaner foes : in other things that are God's. Its advanwords, be is independent of them. tages in middle life are endless. To love our enemies is to annihilate when it is clearly the result of them; and to return good for evil is piety, it is an emanation of the to heap coalo of fire


Deity within us : hence it was de. heads.

clared, that when the primitive It is perhaps time to bring these saints' were to deliver their testiobservations to a close; but on adverting to the precise terms in mony, they were not to stoop to which the question is couched, I study their subject, but that it which the question is couched, I should be given them in that hour observe that it is proposed to con- what they should speak, and that sider the advantages and disadvan. it was not they who spake but the tages of maintaining and exhibiting Holy Ghost within them. When this principle in different situations its movements are not so clearly the sidering what has been said, it will result of such seraphic and elevated be thought that, although these ad feelings, but yet steer clear of the

lower motives of pride and selfish vantages and disadvantages have not been specifically distinguished, and beautify the records of past

ness, it has in it enough to dignify yet that they have been virtually recognized; and with a view to ages, where we still behold amidst shew this,'a short recapitulation few Corinthiau columns standing

a mass of ruin and disorder these necessary. And first as to

here and there as if to prevent our the advantages. In order to any closing the page of history in disadvantage at all from independence of mind, we must take care that it gust, and which remind us of the

stars in the darkness, is of the right kind; that it is the genuine principle, and not a spu- " For ever singing as they shine, rious substitute for it. If ours be The Hand that made us is Divine." indeed true Christian indepen- Before I quite close the subject dence, we may sooner count the of the advantages of independence stars than enumerate its advan- of mind, I would observe, that it has tages. It dignifies the prince, be appeared to me from my own expecause it humbles him to rest his rience, that there is scarcely any claim to real independence of way in which independence of mind, not upon the footing of mind can be so fully cultivated, or his place or station, but on the so usefully displayed as—by our qualities of his mind and the graces determining to express our septi:

may be

ments on all proper occasions; and near inspection that these are not not to be too nice or particular as so much the disadvantages of real to what are proper occasions, lest independence of mind as of false we lose opportunities which may and spurious independence"; and never return, and thus lay up the that therefore it will not be just to talent of social usefulness in a nap- charge upon the principle itself, kin. Talking in London is like the inconveniences and dangers walking in London : if a man do referable to another source. Some not slip in wherever vacant spaces men, for instance, pique themselves present themselves, and sometimes“ upon speaking their minds, as they make them where they do not; if call it; but this is done in such an he do not use all his faculties, imprudent and offensive way as to watch and seize every opportunity, alienate others and injure themand occasionally run against his selves: they then complain of the neighbour, he will neither talk nor disadvantages of independence of walk like a Londoner. Indepen- mind, when the only disadvantage dence of mind is both acquired and which appears is to be attributed developed by speaking, whether in to their own indiscretion in the appublic or private. I thought while plication of a principle which was I was bearing an eminent preacher good in itself. But, after all due a few days since, in one of his bold allowances for mismanagements and and beautiful appeals for God mistakes are made, it is but too against an ungodly world, how has certain that the exhibition of indeit pleased God to honour preaching, pendence of mind is more or less and what a fine specimen of inde. opposed to the temporal interests pendence of mind is here exhibit of every man who acts under its ining! If we descend from the pulpit Auence. There is no public reto the senate, who is it that counsel prover of sin from John the Baptist kings and give laws to nations ? downwards, who has not had occaThey who speak, If we look at the sion to feel something of this. bar, speaking is not graceful only; Truth is odious in all its shapes to it is necessary, it is indispensable. the lovers of error; and they must What are general meetings of Bible needs hate the light who are reSocieties, but a few speeches bung proved by it. On minor questions upon the peg of a Report? In the also than those of morals, it is offencommittees of those societies, who sive to age and to statiou when any do the business of such commit- one is bardy enough to suggest the tees? They who speak. If a man possibility of grave and reverend do not speak to the purpose, he persons being in the wrong; and as will soon discover it, and give way two cannot well walk together, exto those who do, which will teach cept they be agreed, such persons him humility; but only let him will look out for those characters, speak as a habit, for though he on the soft velvet of whose pliant who speaks frequently will often spirits they can repose for admiblunder, he who is invariably si- ration and assent, and they will lent, can never be in the right. avoid all those who have too much Who is it that adorns and improves 'independence of mind to acquiesce social intereourse, that reproves vice, in every proposition, merely beabashes folly, silences the scorner, cause it bears the stamp and sancand informs the learner. He who tion of authority, while it has perspeaks: for silence, if it do not haps nothing else to boast. There give consent, frequently involves are certain men in the world, of us in the suspicion of doing so. whom it may be predicated without

To come now to the disadvan- difficulty, that they will never be tages of exhibiting independence of rich, because they are too honest mind--We shall perhaps find on to disguise their own sentiments CHRIST. OBSERY, No. 159.


When the restraint of public perse- whether, after giving to those discution cannot be placed upon such advantages all their force, we are men, the scourge of private slander not applying to them a term which shall be felt by them; their charac- does not belong to them ; whether ter shall be defamed, their society we ought not to hail them as auxshall be shunned, and they shall iliaries, rather than regard them know that “a man's foes are they as enemies; and whether we should of his own household,” because of not all rather desire to possess their fidelity towards God, and their them as evidences of our religion independence of mind towards man. and honesty, rather than want Persecution thus assumes a miti. them, and at the same time want gated form; and if we have all been the principles whose existence they exempt from its influence, it is serve to indicate. high time we should begin to question the sincerity of our religious Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. profession.

Watts affords a noble specimen 1 AM a country squire, fond of of independence of mind; and one good old English customs, a staunch of his lyrics begins,

friend to Royalty and Episcopacy, “ Custom, that tyranness of fools a diligent observer of what passes That leads the learned round the schools, in the world around me, and a In magic chains of forms and rules ! constant reader of your very pro

My genius storms her throne. fitable work. Like many others in No more, ye slaves, with awe profound, the present day, and I believe in Beat the dull track por dance the round: all former ages of Christianity, I Loose hands, and quit th'enchanted

fancy that I can discern blemishes ground: Knowledge invites us each alone.

and defects which might be remeI hate these shackles of the mind

died in some of our most excellent Forged by the haughty wise:

establishments. I watch, with a Souls were not born to be confined jealous eye, the encroachments And led like Sampson blind and bound; which are attempted to be made But when his native strength he found

upon our venerable mother, the He well aveng'd his eyes," &c.

Church; and I am equally careful Watts experienced a singular lot that her sons should do their duty, in meeting with a patron who could and prove, by unquestionable eviendure him ; but our surprize ceases dence, their attachment to their when we know that this patron was parent. Good, sound, scriptural as much a man of God in civil life sermons, and good correspondent as Watts was in religious life. They practice, ensure for every clergywere agreed upon all the higher man, a hearty welcome to my questions of doctrine and practice; family mansion. My father, and and while Watts preserved his in- grandfather before me, sir, were dependence, Abdywould have scorn- * lovers of good men. ” ed to invade it. Such instances, A country gentleman, resident however, it is to be feared, are rare. upon his estate, often complains of

Many disadvantages of indepen. much idle time, which as often dence of mind might here perhaps hangs heavily upon his hands. To be enumerated; but they would be check the very first approach of found, I apprehend, after all, to be this evil, after my family devotions for the most part referable to the are concluded, and my domestic single instance of disadvantage economy is arranged for the day, which has been stated, and to be i generally mount my poney, and only members and branches of that ride, not merely to admire the secret dislike which the world has beauties of Nature, and then to ever felt to virtue and talent. It contemplate the great goodness of may, however, be fairly questioned the God of Nature; but, in my


daily rides, I venture to inquire christening, and Mr. into the temporal and spiritual afraid he should be too late at wants of the poor in the adjacent

church; and so, sir, I villages. In one of these solitary prayed as well as I could myself, excursions, my course was directed and asked the Lord to teach me, to a neighbouring parish, which and He beard my prayers." —Here, does not enjoy the blessing of a again, having offered my temporal resident clergyman. There I had assistance, and mounted my horse, occasion to enter into conversation I journeyed homewards ; and on with a poor woman, whose distress my way, passed the rectory house, required every kind attention; but now inhabited by a farmer, who who, alas ! found no friend to pity rents the glebe. On the opposite her. “O, sir,” said she, “how dif- side of the road, was an old tytheferent was our case in the life-time barn, whose folding doors seemed of good Mr. D. our late Rector, to have been the common recepwho was called to rest from his tacle for all the hand-bills publabours last year: we do, indeed, lished in the neighbourhood. Not miss him, sir. A blessing upon his a sale of oxen, sheep, or household memory!

Never were so many furniture, but here found a ready tears shed in our parish, as on the welcome. Meditating, as I rode, day when he was buried. Good upon the loss these poor people man! He was a faithful servant of had sustained by the death of Mr. God. So like his Master, sir, he D., I suddenly lifted up my eyes, went about doing good. Well! and beheld, in the midst of the our loss is his gain. We must not hand-bills, a printed paper in small wish him back again ; for he had letters, with the exception of one many sharp trials in his own fa- word, and that word in large camily; but he bore them all so pitals was, “ RESIDENCE." I patiently, and used to say, that we started back, and wondered that must through much tribulation my poney did not start likewise. enter into the kingdom of God.' Residence, said I ; the very thing Good man! we do, indeed, miss which is here wanted! Surely it him, sir !”—Relieving the wants of is a summons placed here by authis poor woman, I passed on to thority. I examined this monitor, another cottage, where a tribe of and was chagrined to find it merefatherless children were watching ly gave notice, that a country the hand of a widowed mother, residence was to be sold, with a busily employed in distributing a three-stalled stable, coach-house, homely meal of potatoes. Here field, and garden. It told the pasagain, I was greeted with a some- senger no more; but to the present what similar complaint: for upon rector, passing to receive his rents, my asking how the family did, must it not have spoken, as we "The little ones have been well, read the hand-writing upon a wall sir,” said the mother, “ since their once did of old ? Must not its poor father's death: but anxiety of language have been, “MENE mind, I believe, produced a fever; MENE, TEKEL, UPHABSIN ?". and I have been contined to my As a layman, I am not to upbed for these six weeks.

Oh, how

braid my brethren in the ministry, I wished for the prayers a good who hold a cred office; but the minister of religion ; but you know,

word “RESIDENCE” still seems sir, our gentleman lives so far off, to haunt me; and I cannot but and is so much burried, that I did hope, that in time, some method not see him during my whole sick- will be devised to ensure this very ness. I did, indeed, send a mes. desirable object. Clerical resisage to the clerk last Sunday morn- dence is certainly the grand turning: but after service there was a ing point of clerical usefulness.

« AnteriorContinuar »